LXVIII OVERTHROW OF SAFAVI DYNASTY 315 The right wing was commanded by another ill-fated Rustam Khan, the General of the Royal Guards, and the left wing by the Vizier. Attached to the former was a body of Arab horse under its Vali, and to the latter a force under the Vali of Laristan. Both these wings, together about thirty thousand strong, were mounted. The centre, consisting of twenty thousand infantry, with the artillery, completed what appeared to be a formidable army. The Afghans were drawn up in four divisions, Mahmud in the centre being supported by the best fighting men. On his right was Aman Ulla Khan, while the left was covered by the Zoroastrians. In the rear were the hundred swivels. The Battle of Gulnabad, A.H. 1135 (1722).—The fate- ful battle of Gulnabad opened with a charge by the Persian right, which met with some success. Simultane- ously the Vali of Arabia turned the enemy's left flank and fell on the Afghan camp, which was plundered, the Arabs taking no part in the fighting but occupying them- selves with looting. The Persian left wing also charged, but the Afghans by a clever manoeuvre unmasked their camel guns, which caused great havoc, and at the same moment charged the reeling column. It broke and fled and the pursuing Afghans wheeled on the rear of the artillery, which had no escort. The gunners were cut to pieces and the guns turned on the Persian infantry, which also broke and fled. No pursuit was attempted, as the Afghans busied themselves with plundering the Persian camp, and according to one account feared an ambush. Thus ignominiously fled, with a loss of only two thousand men, a powerful Persian army fighting for everything that a nation holds dear, and never again did it dare to face the Afghans in the field. The Persian nation had ceased to be virile, and the yerdict of history is that when it fell, it fell deservedly through its own cowardice. battles fought by the last Sasanian monarchs against the Arabs, and I was struck by the similarity of the circumstances and conditions.